FAR HILLS, N.J. – Tiger Woods' decision to sit out the U.S. Open worked out well for a 23-year-old from Thailand who is replacing him.
Thitiphun Chuayprakong was the first alternate from the Japan sectional qualifier. The USGA determined that he was first on its alternate list for Oakmont. Thitiphun has never played in a major. He has one career victory on the Asian Tour, this year at the Bangladesh Open.
Woods announced Tuesday that he was not ready for competition as he recovers from two back surgeries last year.
It was the third time in the past six years that injuries have kept Woods out of the U.S. Open. The last time he didn't play was in 2014, and his numerical replacement was another first-time U.S. Open participant: Masters champion Danny Willett.
This story has been corrected to show that the Thai player's surname is spelled Thitiphun, not Thitiphu.